Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Low, but not low enough

The Oncotype Dx, although placing me in the low category, gives me a 10% chance of the cancer returning. The oncologist put it this way--'If you take 100 women with your same score, 10 of them will get the cancer back. IF you get chemotherapy, it will cut that number to 5 out of the 100 getting the cancer back. He went on to say that the first time you get cancer is the time to do the most you can to get rid of it completely, because if it comes back, it comes back elsewhere in the body and it is more difficult to treat--and impossible to cure completely'.

He explained another method, an alternative to chemo that is used in Europe. It consists of a series of injections--every 4 months, and taking arimidex as well. I think the injections have three different drugs in them--one of them being a drug that causes the body to go into menopause. If I have chemo, he would give me that one injection before starting the arimidex anyway. I have not been able to find information on the treatment he is telling me about--he says he has used it on about 30 of his patients. I'm not sure if the success rate is the same as chemo, nor do I know for how long the studies have been going on for that method.

I know that I don't want to have the cancer return and have to say, "I wish I would have done chemo the first time around". I will do everything I can to rid myself of it now. SOOOOO, I think that I will be opting for chemo--it will begin the end of April if this is the route I choose. It will only be 4 treatments, given every three weeks. I'd be done mid-summer.

My next oncologist appointment is the first week in April. I will have made up my mind completely by then.

Radiation is 14 treatments down another 19 or so to go. I have a nice tan around my left breast, in the form of a rectangle. It's pretty interesting to look at. I went for my simulation for the radiation boost that will be given during the last 7 days of my treatments. It targets the area of surgery and sends extra strong beams to that area alone instead of the whole breast area. On the way from the simulation in the Setauket area, to my radiation appointment in the Patchogue area, I had a very difficult time keeping my eyes open while I was driving. I think maybe the fatigue that everyone talks about may be kicking in.--or maybe it's just the time change and the full moon that joins us tonight.

Dave is out at his sister, Kim's, tonight. He went out there last Tuesday, to keep her company and help her through the difficult time she's having since Gary's passing. He decided that, maybe for a while, he'll make it a weekly tradition. I think it's great that he's out there with her and he should continue to do so until she feels better.

Physical Therapist Gary will be coming into my school next week to do a presentation for the fourth graders on how our bodies have simple machines inside of them. He's bringing out a couple of samples from Stony Brook Med. Ctr. where he teaches--he's going to show how the knee is actually a three-lever system, with the kneecap acting as a fulcrum. This idea had come up a few months ago, and I thought it was put on the back burner, but when we were starting simple machines, I remembered the discussion. Gary had planned it out for his daughter's 4th grade class at her school, as well. It's always great to have kids see how what they learn today actually applies in the real world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Syndee, saw your blog link on your FB page. This is a great way to keep everyone up to date. Deb has three of her chemo treatments done with three to go then we move on to radiation. We continue to pray for you through this time.

Be blessed.
John Mroz